chapter  2
10 Pages

The Philosophic Origins of Antitrust

ByJohn Ridpath *

The antitrust laws of the United States are an obscene violation of individual rights that have thrown American business into a no-man's land of non-objective law. They were originated and fostered by Americans-predominantly, by American conservatives. In particular, the conceptual underpinnings of American antitrust were supplied by a prominent conservative economist, the founder of the "Chicago School" of economics: Frank H. Knight. It was Frank Knight's theoretical work on competition that, more than any other single factor, gave American antitrust its unparalleled virulence. Anti-reason, anti-identity, anti-causality, and anti-self-these philosophical poisons have all combined to provide the foundations for modern antitrust's assault on the most productive system man has ever known-capitalism-and on the most productive individuals in human history-the industrialists. Any theory, such as perfect competition, which is removed from and disdainful of reality will lead to the immolation of those most capable of dealing with reality. That is both the theory's effect and its ultimate purpose.